“Oh the places you’ll go!! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!!” -Dr.Seuss
I was asked recently to write about the best place to run. I realized this is certainly not an easy question to answer. I thought hard about it too….Wisconsin is my stomping ground…but nothing like Arizona…or the waterfalls of Gorge. And CA is more green than anything I’ve ever seen…South Carolina holds the beauty of the ocean next to the trail…and in the not so distant past of road running, Boston will forever be a lovely place to run. But what’s the best?
Let’s take a look at my home: Milwaukee, WI.
Does that sum it up?? It kinda does in all honesty!! I live just outside the city which is certainly an eye sore for those of us that feel the most connected when in the woods. Its a flat, usually cold, big city look. But there are pockets of beauty in Milwaukee that allow me to reconnect, reset, and be at peace with the world. It’s not a place on everyone’s bucket list for running, but it’s certainly a place of comfort with a plethora of trails spanning the whole state. A look at the beauty of my backyard…
I never realized how valuable seasons really are!! That is one of the few reasons why every runner needs to head to the Midwest. You see vibrant oranges and yellows in the fall; baby blues and bright purples in the spring; chilling white and grays in the winter; and the deep greens of trees in the summer months. Might be worth the trip…but just know winter isn’t just cold….the wind chill is what gets you!
Milwaukee certainly isn’t my favorite place to run. I recently ran in the Muir Woods and although the race didn’t go as planned, it was a spectacular view.
Unbelievable scenes. I can’t even begin to describe the colors and massiveness of these woods. It was like something from a Lord of the Rings movie…simply gorgeous. There is a piece of nature there that every runner must experience once. You will stand in the middle of the forest in awe staring up…at every twisting vine…all each tree that seemed to stand a thousand feet tall…incredible. I experienced the Muir Woods and will run there again someday…
If you’re a runner, you have or will experience the Boston Marathon at least once. Boston is like Milwaukee…a big ol’ city. The reason Boston is on my top best places list is because of the history. I’ve ran it a few times, and its the only finishline I’ve crossed in tears because of how spectacular the overall experience truly was for me. I found out what kind of runner I really am and that even those of us that aren’t made to run can become great with hard work and determination. A classic piece of Boston…
And finally…that leaves me with Arizona. My first thought about AZ back in 2012 was…”why are we going to the desert to run a marathon?! There are snakes and it’s blazing hot and they don’t have water there!” Seriously. Like I pictured the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons when thinking about Arizona. Totally not the case at all. I realize it does get blazing hot and there are snakes…and other dinosaur looking creatures…and rocks with jagged teeth…BUT overall, it’s got to be the best place to run…so far. There are mountains, forests, the desert, cold and snow, and no, there isn’t a beach but it’s pretty close. It captures a bit of everything and in the northern part of AZ there are seasons!! It seems silly to be excited about that, but once you go somewhere and it’s 70 degrees no matter what time of year…totally weird. My pictures are limited to the Sedona and Phoenix areas, but Flagstaff in the winter was unbelievable. We don’t have snow like that in the Midwest. I’ve never seen it so white and sparkly!
I know now there are so many more beautiful places that I’ve been to and so many I have yet to explore in the states…on my list of places to run…Albuquerque, Moab, Oregon, Montana, North Carolina, and Idaho. I hear wonderful things and especially get super jealous seeing all the pictures from other teammates about where they are running that day. There is so much beauty to explore and places to run in our country. We plan to spend our life exploring!! Cheers.